This soon-to-be big brother is only 13 months old, but he has mastered the art of being utterly adorable in front of the cameras. Between his rosy cheeks, hilarious expressions and general wiggly, jiggly nature that won him an extended playdate with the Internet, George has plenty of cuteness tips to pass down to his new sibling.
Prince George isn’t the first British royal to make the world join in a collective “aww,” however. Below, see the long lineage of cuteness that has led up to the second royal baby.
Prince William went to Australia and New Zealand for his first royal tour at almost exactly the same age as George. And as you can see in this April 1983 photograph, Princess Diana delighted in his antics just as much as Princess Kate does in George’s.
Not to be outdone by his older brother, Prince Harry also proved to be a photogenic royal baby … even when he seemed like he might be on the verge of a proper, princely cry. In this Sept. 1, 1985, photo, he’s a few days from his first birthday. You have to credit the royal family for a commitment to endure air travel with 1-year-olds, which can’t be easy, even if you’re blue bloods. (BTW, Prince Harry should really bring back that hairstyle.)
What a difference six decades can make! “Chubby-cheeked” and “towheaded” aren’t how most people would describe Prince Charles now. But seen in July 1949, around 7 months old, he looks quite a bit like Prince George. New mum Queen Elizabeth II – here Princess Elizabeth, as she wouldn’t ascend to the throne until 1952 – also looks radiant, and nearly as youthful as she does in her own baby photos …
Yes, the Queen of England was quite the moppet in her younger days. Seen here at 3 years old, gracing the cover of TIME magazine’s April 29, 1929 issue, “Princess Lilybet” could have given Shirley Temple competition in the cuteness department. Multiple books on the queen’s life cite Winston Churchill describing her as having “an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant,” and you can perhaps see a flash of that seriousness here, too, despite her cherubic looks.
Prince Albert, the Future King George
Before Elizabeth’s father took the throne as King George VI (and even further before pop culture came to know him as the King’s Speech monarch), he was His Royal Highness Prince Albert. You see the prince here, circa 1899, at about four years old, flanking his queen-to-be mother, Mary. Albert is on the left, and the look-alike on the right is Prince Edward, who’d go on to famously abdicate the throne, thus putting his brother’s descendants (including little Prince George) in line to reign.
King George V
You wouldn’t expect “Dennis the Menace-esque” to describe the first monarch in the House of Windsor, but that’s pretty much the vibe a 5-year-old King George V gives off in this photo from 1870. He’s wearing a strikingly similar outfit to one worn by his father in a portrait painted 51 years earlier, though George certainly seems more likely to be up to mischief.
Prince Albert, the Future King Edward VII
This Franz Winterhalter painting of Prince Albert Edward is dated 1846, meaning it depicts the future king at around 5 years old. The angelic boy looked considerably different when, at age 59, he began his reign as King Edward VII. Why the late ascension to the throne? His mother, Queen Victoria, holds the record for the longest-reigning British monarch as well as the longest-reigning female monarch in history.
And here she is, the future Queen Victoria, as painted by Stephen Poyntz Denning in 1823, making her about 4 years old. By the look of her, she’s clearly a little girl destined for big things, even if she was only fifth in line for the throne at the time she was born. Hers is an ensemble that says, “No worries. I’ve got this.” She’d go on to reign for 63 years.